As the name implies, a marriage and family therapist is a trained professional who deals with problems faced by coupled or families. In other words, these are the marriage counselors that are trained in helping married couples overcome some of the problems that can lead to divorce – these specialists deal with a wide array of interpersonal issues and they are very much appreciated, both in the United States of America and outside the country.
The mean annual salary for a skilled and certified marriage and family therapist in the US is of around $46,000, although this can vary a lot. If the professional is hired by the state government or works in a hospital or another medical setting, then the average yearly salary is between $55,000 and $62,000.
Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States
The marriage and family therapists get different paychecks in different states. Taking California as an example, a therapist who specializes in marriage and family counseling should expect a yearly wage of between $55,000 and $58,000, depending on the working environment. At the opposite end, there is the state of Connecticut where these professionals usually earn between $30,000 and $44,000, while those from Washington DC should expect to get an average yearly wage of around $55,000 as well.
Marriage and family therapists who reside and work in the state of Florida should expect payments that range anywhere from $34,000 to as much as $51,000, the latter being in Miami. Generally speaking, therapists who live and work in large cities are more likely to earn more money, not only because of the higher living costs but also because of the higher demand for counseling services.
Marriage And Family Therapist Job Description
Marriage and family therapists deal with a variety of tasks related to therapy and counseling. Generally speaking, it is their duty to assess, diagnose and then treat various mental and psychological problems that can arise within the contexts of marriage and/or family. It often happens that a marriage and family therapist specializes in many different areas of counseling, from relationship and child counseling to divorce therapy and pre-marital therapy.
Generally speaking, it is the duty of the marriage and family therapist to help couples overcome problems in their marriage, and to see divorce as a last resort measure. However, if nothing can be done about it and divorce is inevitable, then the therapist will provide counseling services to help them cope with the situation.
Some of the main tasks and duties of the marriage and family therapist include developing various treatment plans, diagnosing and addressing mental disorders, helping patients develop their skills and gain a new set of interpersonal communication skills, conduct psychotherapy with couples and families as well as collecting information about the patients through observations, formal assessments and discussions.
It must be said that family and marriage therapists are somewhat different from the classic therapists as we know them. While it is true that both categories deal with diagnosing and treating different issues related to mental health, the marriage and family therapists focus on family dynamics and how family issues are directly related to psychological health. During the treatment session, the skilled therapist can address a plethora of psychological problems triggered by family issues, from depression and anxiety to grief and anger.
Moreover, most of the marriage and therapy counselors choose to work in their own private practices, in spite of the fact that they are often hired by a variety of other outpatient care centers, from the offices of healthcare providers to local and state governments and individual centers. It is not uncommon for these therapists to work for schools, universities as well as inpatient mental health facilities.
How To Become A Marriage And Family Therapist?
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- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Becoming a certified marriage and family therapist goes require some extent of formal training, which includes at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant area of therapy along with at least two years of clinical experience under the close supervision of an already certified marriage and family therapist. Only after passing all these requirements, the therapist can pass the state licensing exams.
However, it must be said that in addition to the formal training which is of paramount importance, it is also essential that the therapist possesses a set of skills and characteristics, from empathy and good organizational skills to great interpersonal and communication skills that would allow them to communicate with their patients. It is important for every marriage and family therapist to understand that they will work very closely with clients, and it is important to make them feel as safe and secure as possible.
Moreover, in some cases these professionals may also work with other family members as well, and it is very important for them to be up to date with the latest technologies and medical software available in their field of activity.
If you have decided to enroll in a professional marriage and family therapy training program, then you should know that the curriculum is very diversified and it will cover a variety of different fields. From counseling theory and practice to group and adolescent psychology, you will be given a deeper insight into some of the most notable areas of psychology. Moreover, during the training program you will also get a closer look at the marriage and family systems, the human development and its clinical applications, as well as the basic research and evaluation systems that apply in psychology.
Getting Your Certification
If you have decided to work as a marriage and family therapist, then it is important to understand that you will need to get certified. However, the requirements for certification and state licensure can vary, although the basic demands include a Master’s Degree in either counseling or marriage and family therapy, and up to 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. After you have managed to meet these two basic requirements, you will sit for the state recognized exam and only after that you will get your certification and you will be allowed to teach.
Marriage And Family Therapy Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom
A therapist who resides in UK should expect a mean yearly wage of 64,000 pounds, while one who works in Canada typically earns between C$40,000 and C$60,000. Marriage and family therapists who work in Australia should expect to earn between Au$50,000 and Au$65,000.
To conclude, a marriage and family therapist can get a very rewarding salary, especially if he is very passionate about what he is doing.